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bookDiabetes articles about daily topics that affect those living with diabetes. There is a lot of information about diabetes and hopefully you find this information useful in your everyday life. Here we have compiled a list of older articles from our previous "The Diabetes Network" along with links to blogs and articles, an extended reading archive. You can use the search in the top-right menu to search for specific articles.

 

The Arts, and Diabetes

The Arts, and Diabetes

vangoughArticle originlly from WorthEveryPenny

(I promise this will get to diabetes. I don't promise a short trip.)

I believe that ability in the arts - in most things, actually, but that's a broader subject - is composed of two major elements. The first is what is either inborn or perhaps gifted by the universe: talent, genius, soul, inspiration, whatever makes sense to you. The other is what I like to call "chops", borrowing a term some musicians use: the accumulated skills, experience, practice, and know-how that goes into producing the artistic work, whether that work is a dance, a sonnet, a song, a painting, or any other creative work.

The full role of talent, etc., is perhaps disputable. (I recently heard an interview with a psychologist who argues that talent plays little or no role in ability, which is really obtained through education and practice.) But the role of "chops" is not disputable: the cellist is the high school orchestra may have loads and loads of soulfulness to express, but that doesn't make him Yo-Yo Ma. No amount of talent will make a toddler with her fingerpaints into an instant Georgia O'Keefe. The five-year old in ballet class may have been gifted with a body perfectly suited to dance, but he's not (yet) Rudolf Nureyev.

It's my belief that we pay too much attention to the "talent" side of the equation. Many years ago, I read a weird and wonderful book called "Sayonara, Michelangelo", which was about many things, but mostly about Michelangelo's paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the restoration thereof late in the last century. At one point in the book, the author argues that in praising Michelangelo's genius, we wind up giving him insufficient credit for his ability, his experience, and his hard work.

I once read a memoir by the actor Alan Alda, most famous for his role in "M.A.S.H.". The real revelation for me from that book is the amount of the actor's craft that must be learned, from the ways to express certain emotions to successfully mimicking an accent. George Clooney's a great actor, I'm told, but he wouldn't be without his chops.

Earlier week, with considerable reluctance, I blogged a poem I'd written. I got some very nice comments on it, and I'm pleased it connected for some people. But, other than the schoolwork everyone's done, I've written maybe three dozen poems in my life. But I haven't written hundreds of poems, I haven't sat through critiques by fellow students knowledgeable and passionate about the craft, and I know very little about form and meter. While I did write a poem that expressed my idea, I'm not a poet - I just don't have the chops.

Chops plays a huge role in diabetes management, too, and we acquire them only with time and effort. Although our bodies continue to spring surprises on us, we do learn how to anticipate and deal with many of the individualities of our own diabetes. (Shredded Wheat is poison, diabetes? Really, diabetes?) We learn tips and techniques for a thousand things, from how to test our blood to the way we want to handle doing so in public. A person dependent on insulin are engaged in a lifelong process of learning how to be his or her own pancreas. (My hat is off to those who have mastered the "double wave bolus".) From time to time, we need to learn (or relearn) that the things we know HOW to do are important enough to actually do them.

Then, there are the lessons that can be harder to learn because we don't entirely want to learn them, from maintaining our weight (for those with that issue) to avoiding those favorite foods that, although we CAN eat them, just aren't worth what they do to us. (I'm looking at you, white rice.)

I'm learning, and you're learning. We need to be gentle with ourselves about what we haven't yet learned, acknowledge and feel good about the things we have learned, and be open to the things we don't yet know that we need to learn.

Above all, there are no good or bad diabetics. It's all chops.

Comment on: Kaiyala et al. (2010) Identification of Body Fat Mass as a Major Determinant of Metabolic Rate in Mice. Diabetes;59:1657-1666

  1. Paul S. MacLean
  1. From the Center for Human Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Diabetes, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado.
  1. Corresponding author: Paul S. MacLean, paul.maclean{at}ucdenver.edu.

The article by Kaiyala et al. (1) in the July issue of Diabetes represents a significant step forward for metabolic research. The emergence of regression as the gold standard for normalizing energy expenditure data in mice (2,3) will undoubtedly minimize a translational barrier between clinical and preclinical research communities. One concern when using this approach in other species has been whether fat mass should be included in the model (4,5) given that it may have a regulatory impact on metabolic rate. In most cases, the purpose for this normalization is to control for the variation in “metabolic mass,” or tissue that significantly contributes to the …

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My Favorite Shareposts and Experts from 2010

The start of a new year can be filled with hope, but sometimes the strength of our convictions comes from what we know.  In order to change patterns and to think differently, we should look to the past! 

This year has been one that opened many new opportunities for me.  It has been a year of learning more about diabetes then I ever imagined I would care to know!  The best part has been opening my arms wide and letting friends into the interesting world of diabetes and educating them.  But it also has been a two way street! 

This year fostered my reaching out to fellow type 2 experts, who are so knowledgeable on the relationship with diabetes, food, exercise that their knowledge surpasses most of my phd sports physiology friends! 

The diversity of information from this group of Amylia, Bill, David, Fran, Gretchen, John, Joan (Verdungal), Kelsey, Beth and Kerri has educated and entertained me all year!  So I have decided, on this last day of the year, to post some of my favorite expert’s shareposts by this community and some from other communities on Health Central!

Gretchen Becker’s Learning from Type1’s. I had the pleasure of attending a conference at Cleveland Clinic with Gretchen.  Her depth of knowledge and good common sense make her blogs very educational, but it is her rye wit that grabs and makes everyone think twice!

Joan (Verdungal) 34 Low Carb & Healthy Blogs for November 2010. Joan is amazing in her knowledge of food and natural living!  I think of myself as understanding the earthy crunchy soul, but she takes it to a much higher level and her research is on the mark! (She even convinced Ginger to get off artificial sweeteners!)

Amylia’s 1 in 3 Americans Diabetic in 2050?  Amylia, the writer, poet and sultry diabetes voice just lends emotional, whimsical, romance while packing her posts full of god information!

Bill’s Same Song, Second Verse. Bill is my “go to” guy when I have a medical blog request!  He is the diabetes Renaissance man, having worked for pharmaceuticals, to being a endocrinologist and living with diabetes, there are few angles he doesn’t understand!

John’s post The Last Five Pounds. John joined us at the beginning of 2010 with a new years resolution.  He has shared the ups and downs of learning how to change his life in order to take control of his health!  What a year he has shared with us!  He is but 5 pounds from his goal! Awesome!

Fran’s Daily Insulin Injection vs. Insulin Pump: Where are we now?  I don’t even know which blog to choose, as a favorite!  Fran is a pediatric diabetelogist and in her spare time writes about what most parents hanker to read!  She is a wealth of knowledge and a compassionate soul who shares because someone is out there who needs help! 

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Tied and Twisted in the Emotions of Diabetes

It’s easy to look at a person with diabetes whose blood sugars are running up around 300 mg/dL and say, “Geez, you need to just stop neglecting yourself!”

It's easy to judge, to think, "C'mon, just do it! Just take your insulin and take care of it all!"

But the real question is, “By neglecting your diabetes and purposefully hurting your body, what is that doing for you?"

It must be doing something beneficial…otherwise you wouldn’t keep doing it. Even though cigarettes are obviously harmful, people still smoke them because it feels good, it provides an obvious benefit.

Even if the benefit is small in comparison to the damage your body is suffering, purposefully neglecting your diabetes may be your method of coping with the overwhelming emotions around diabetes.

The next question is: Do you want to challenge those emotions and find your new way of living with this disease? Are you ready to work towards finding a healthy way of getting that same benefit?

From the outside, diabetes appears slightly complex but straightforward: take your insulin, check your blood sugar, count your carbohydrates, and carry on with your day.

But diabetes, like many other challenges in life, can have a way of twisting itself throughout every single part of our life and our emotions. It isn’t straightforward; it’s incredibly complex, and the immense challenge of taking care of diabetes every day can play a variety of games in our heads.

Some of those games have side effects that seem fairly harmless. I know diabetes has definitely increased my own personal desire to be in control of situations and schedules, because I’m so used to always trying to be in control of my blood sugar. Because of diabetes, I like to be in control.

I also know it places a significant emphasis on my health. To me, exercising every day isn’t just about trying to feel “fit”…it’s about trying to keep my blood vessels strong, my eyes healthy, my kidneys functioning. I exercise so I can live longer and prevent complications.

Some of those games, though, can become very self-destructive. They actually hurt us further, but it is often a method of coping, of expressing the anger of having to live with this disease we didn’t choose, or a method of saying, “I’m overwhelmed! I’m scared. I can’t do this.”

Food is another part of managing diabetes that becomes incredibly twisted in our emotions. Food is never just food when you live with diabetes. Food is the enemy. Food is the hero. Food is the hardest part of the balancing act.

It’s only normal that all of that will impact how you feel about food, think about food, and how you use food in your life.

How do you use food?

Do you ever use food to ease emotions? Distract yourself from emotions? Comfort pain? Or even to purposefully mess with your entire diabetes management program, raise your blood sugars, and hurt your body?

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5 years ago, I began the long process of QUITTING junk food!

Ginger Vieira has lived with Type 1 diabetes and Celiac for 11+ years. She holds 14 national, drug-tested powerlifting records and the Vermont State Bench Press record. Today, she is a cognitive health & chronic illness life coach at Living-in-Progress.

Five years ago, the way I ate and the way I exercised and the way I felt about my health was tremendously different. In many ways, I was a much different person. Not only did I purposefully and regularly eat gluten even though I had been diagnosed with Celiac disease, I ate a variety of things I would never voluntarily eat today. I knowingly would overeat when I was upset about something or was really stressed out. I gladly drank liquor and beer at parties during college. I ate pizza, ate Chinese food, ate candy and junk whenever I felt like it.

Don't get me wrong, underneath was the basics of good nutrition, but the overall concept of filling my body only with good, wholesome foods was not something I gave much thought to. And the transition from where I was then to where I am today was a very gradual change.

Five years ago, if you said to me, "You need to eat organic food, exercise every day, avoid all gluten, remove all fake sugars from your diet and quit drinking coffee," I would've laughed! I could never handle making that many changes at one time! Besides, I also wouldn't

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Five Years Ago, I Used to Eat Chinese Food and Plenty of Ice Cream

Ginger Vieira has lived with Type 1 diabetes and Celiac for 11+ years. She holds 14 national, drug-tested powerlifting records and the Vermont State Bench Press record. Today, she is a cognitive health & chronic illness life coach at Living-in-Progress.

Five years ago, the way I ate and the way I exercised and the way I felt about my health was tremendously different. In many ways, I was a much different person. Not only did I purposefully and regularly eat gluten even though I had been diagnosed with Celiac disease, I ate a variety of things I would never voluntarily eat today. I knowingly would overeat when I was upset about something or was really stressed out. I gladly drank liquor and beer at parties during college. I ate pizza, ate Chinese food, ate candy and junk whenever I felt like it.

Don't get me wrong, underneath was the basics of good nutrition, but the overall concept of filling my body only with good, wholesome foods was not something I gave much thought to. And the transition from where I was then to where I am today was a very gradual change.

Five years ago, if you said to me, "You need to eat organic food, exercise every day, avoid all gluten, remove all fake sugars from your diet and quit drinking coffee," I would've laughed! I could never handle making that many changes at one time! Besides, I also wouldn't have

Read more...

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